In a new study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, that analyses trends over the past four decades, it has been seen that life expectancy is rising in Europe.
Professor David Leon, a population expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, leading the study observed, "Despite what many may have assumed, and without being complacent, current trends in European life expectancy are in a positive direction."
Different factors influence the life expectancy in different countries. While in the UK, a person born in 2011 can hope to live 80.05 years, being born in Angola would mean just 38.76 years of life. Living conditions, nutrition and healthcare are some of the conditions that influence a longer life expectancy.
Another interesting feature is the always-existing gap between men and women in life expectancy is closing up, as health and life risk-factors such as alcohol, tobacco, accidents and wars are becoming increasingly common between the sexes.
Although the increased life span has been contributed by a better quality of life, experts still feel that the actual factors have not been identified yet. Added to this is the fact that a longer life expectancy does not necessarily mean a healthy life expectancy. In fact, old age and other health risks like obesity diminish the quality of life.
So, the question remains - is a longer life expectancy really something to be desired?